F2F immersion--The Food, what and how to cook
Saturday, January 19, 2013
There were several cooking demonstrations during the weekend, 2 by Ann Esselstyn and her daughter, Jane Esselstyn. They had one where they showed the right things to have in your kitchen, which veggies were the "tops," and just some general "stuff." The second one they actually prepared some food. They handed out recipes and we received recipes of everything that we had eaten that weekend. There was so much information on this topic that I cannot include it all. Some recipes are included in Dr. Esselstyn's book "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease."
Ann is a huge proponent of raw oats and said she has them a couple of times a day. The main difference between Engine 2 diet and Dr. Esselstyn's diet is that Dr. E's diet omits avocados, nuts, soy, and chocolate. Ann called Dr. E's diet "Plant Perfect" whereas Rip's E2 diet is "Plant Strong." Depending on your health, you can choose one or the other. The "Plant Perfect" would de-emphasize breads, cereals, and crackers because they are higher on the calorie density scale. They pretty much stick to veggies, fruits, beans and whole grains in their natural state, such as brown rice. Ann also stated that if you are trying to make stuff taste like meat or cheese, you are heading toward a veggie "junk food" diet. She said that, for example, there are NO alternative cheeses out there and you just have to decide you are not going to eat cheese. Don't try to make good food something it is not.
Her rules for Plant Perfect:
1. No oil. To stir fry use water or veggie broth. Kitchen Basics brand unsalted veggie stock was one she recommended. She reminded us that Garlic needs to be started sauteeing in water, although onions don't. They can simply be started cooking in a dry pan on medium heat.
She iterated that hummus with NO tahini should be what you should choose, but there is a good recipe for that in the E2 book.
A good salad dressing is: hummus, balsamic, mustard and 1/2 an orange with its juice.
Regarding oil on salads or food, use a good quality balsamic vinegar. The Olive Tap online is a good source.
2. Fill your life with greens--kale, collards, etc. She showed how to make a collard or chard "burrito." If you cook beets and beet greens, boil the beets and then cut up the greens and cook in some water. Mix 2 T dijon mustard and 2 T water, plus 1 T maple syrup and drizzle on top. Bok choy is good in stir "fry"; it's like celery and good in soups. Can eat romaine with hummus or peanut butter (if eating plant-strong and not plant perfect). Pasta sauce--Walnut Acres brand. She also suggested greens shredded on pizza or cooked with pasta and mixed in with it.
3. Eat oats for breakfast to help reduce cholesterol, lessen inflammation. Also good for snack. One T flax seed meal or chia seeds is very good to take. 3 T water plus 1 T ground flax seed meal = 1 egg.
4. Eat beans and lentils.
5. Make whole grains a part of your life. Suggested Sammy's pizza crust or Nature's Pita bread for pizza crust.
6. Avoid salt, use lemon or vinegars.
7. Avoid sugars. Can freeze grapes for good dessert. One recipe: light silken tofu + 3 T lime juice + 1/3 C maple syrup. Layer this in a wine glass with raspberries.
The main recipe I got was from a presentation by Jeff Novick showing us how to easily cook a great meal that is plant strong. He started by telling us the 10 healthiest packaged food, and said that 90% of what he eats comes from these:
1. frozen veggies, 2. frozen fruits, 3. Success quick cooking brown rice, 4. NSA (no salt added) canned beans
5. NSA or low salt canned tomatoes (Pomi chopped tomatoes!!!)
6. Intact whole grains (buckwheat, quinoa, kasha, etc.)
7. Whole grain pasts
8. Dried fruit--It's a condiment!!
9. Unsalted nuts and seeds--It's a condiment!!
10. Salt free spice mix. Get the mixes already done -- eg. "mexican mix" "southern mix"
Every recipe he fixes is based on 5 ingredients:
1. One entire box Pomi chopped low salt tomatoes.
2. One whole can beans
3. Frozen veggies
4. 1 1/2 cups starch (potatoes, rice, etc)
He commented that "when the pleasure trap kicks in, I want to throw in the towel." But fixing these easy recipes quickly helps to assuage hunger and eat healthily.
When fixing this, by changing the veggie or bean or spice, you change the recipe.
People, this works! I've fixed this several times and it is fast and easy. It is no bother and I keep this stuff on hand so I'm never lacking for something for a decent meal. Here is one I fixed:
1 box Pomi tomatoes, NSA and chopped
2. 1 can rinsed and drained garbanzo beans
3. frozen veggies: 1 large pkg. froz. cauliflower, some frozen sliced carrots, peas, onions, and whatever I wanted for a "curry" meal.
4. About 2 T raisins
5. Curry powder enough to flavor it the way I liked.
6. Success brown rice, cooked
7. 1 T chopped walnuts and 1 T dried currents
Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a pot. It's OK if the veggies have thawed out. Quicker cooking that way. Heat until all the veggies are cooked to the doneness you like. Mix the currents and walnuts with the cooked package of rice. Spoon some rice onto a plate. Top with the tomato-veggie-curry mix. Yum! You can also mix the brown rice into the main pot instead of keeping it separate. My husband really like this. I've fixed "Chinese" where I omitted the raisins and curry powder, added 2 T peanut butter to the pot, added different veggies, including bok choy, water chestnuts, carrots, broccoli, etc, a dab of hot bean sauce and served this over rice, with 1 T chopped unsalted peanuts sprinkled on top. That is pictured in one of my earlier blogs. This serves 4 people with some left over.
Dessert recipe from the weekend.
I served this at a dinner for another couple and just called it "fudgy brownie cake." I served ice cream along side for them and a small scoop of raspberry sorbet for us. The company loved it.
1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
3 T dry cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
2/3 C maple syrup
6 T or 1 4 oz. cup unsweetened applesauce
1 T white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 C cold water
Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare non-stick cake pan 9 X 9 or 8 X 8 with a cut-to-size sheet of parchment paper on the bottom.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour cocoa and baking soda. Mix well. Mix maple syrup,apple sauce, vinegar, vanilla and water together in a separate bowl. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients.
Pour into the prepared cake pan.
Bake for 30 minutes for 9" cake, a hair longer if 8"
Let cool and frost by heating gently until smooth all-fruit seedless raspberry jam or SF chocolate sauce. Drizzle over the top of the cake.
They gave a frosting recipe using tofu but I didn't want to use that, so I just did the raspberry jam drizzle. I decorated it with fresh raspberries around the edge. I unmolded the cake from the pan and put on a cake stand. A 9" cake will be fairly thin, maybe 2" tall. An 8" cake will be higher. The original recipe as given at the conference specified a 9 X 9" pan. This was a very good cake, and if one didn't know, they would assume that it was a normal fudgy kind of cake.